Monday, December 19, 2011

Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler. THE FUTURE OF US

It's 1996 and Emma gets her first computer. Her friend, Josh, brings over an AOL CD-Rom, so she can check out the Internet. After setting up her password and logging on, something strange happens. Emma sees something called Facebook. It shows a picture of someone looking eerily like her, but a little older. She begins reading the text underneath her name and is freaked out.

Emma and Josh investigate and deduce that they must be looking into the future - 15 years to be exact. They look at both of their future selves, and while Josh is thrilled to be married to the Sydney Mills, a gorgeous girl he's had a crush on for years, Emma is depressed about her future.

Emma begins to try to change things with her future. She begins looking at the Facebook page every day to see how her little changes affect her future. Josh worries that even looking at the future will change things in a negative way. (Easy for him to say, since he's the one with the sunny future.) Will they be able to forget about their future selves enough to focus on enjoying the here and now?

This is one of those books that had me at the premise. I was highly curious to see how the authors would handle this concept. At first, I was a little annoyed by the constant 90's references. We got Discman, Friends, Alanis Morissette, Seinfeld, the brick wall screensaver, Windows 95 all in practically one chapter. I felt a little hit over the head with "it's 1996! it's 1996!" But, that passed quickly, and there was nary a mention of the late 90's again in the book. Perhaps, I'm the only one bothered by that? I'm not sure how teens will react. As I see my students reading the book, I'll get a feel whether they noticed that aspect or not. They probably won't.

Otherwise, I enjoyed the book. I think the concept was executed smoothly. If you're a techie, you need to suspend your disbelief about how the computer was able to connect to Facebook (think of it as science fiction). Then you'll enjoy it. The idea of the little decisions you make today affecting the rest of your life has always fascinated me. So, I enjoyed seeing how it played out for Emma and Josh.

This is a fun read! You know Jay Asher from THIRTEEN REASONS WHY and Carolyn Mackler from many great books including THE EARTH, MY BUTT AND OTHER BIG ROUND THINGS.

Check out the trailer below: